29 April 2010

Biggin Hill and back

My mother is still in hospital & seems to be making steady progress which is good news, I was intending on cycling to Folkestone today, but because of her current state I don't want to be too far away, Sandra, Gav & I cycled a route I last did back in July before LEJOG last year. It's a nice route, up & over Biggin Hill, along the valley & back up Pollhill. I was amazed when we got back to mine & when I downloaded my satnav, we were a staggering 15 minutes quicker than last time.

Can't believe how flat that looks, trust me it isn't!

That's more like it!!

We have decided now that we must try & get this below 2 hours, which means we have to shave another 6 mins off our time.

28 April 2010

Day 3 cancelled

Dear all

Sadly Day 3 got cancelled, my Mother was taken into hospital & has been admitted & a big thank you to Sandra for driving me back

I did speak to Neal & Chris & they did the 70 miles today in about 5 hours......chapeau!!

27 April 2010

Day 2 of Boot Camp

Sandra, Neal & I were joined by Chris today & we drove out to Dunster Castle to start our circular route up & over Exmoor. I wish someone could explain how a we can cycle a circular route & always seem go cycling uphill??

It's a hard ride, the first 17 miles are up hill onto Exmoor, we then cycled across the moor. The weather was a vast improvement on the howling wind we had last year, it was sunny, windless & hot. We went across the plateau of Exmoor at over 30 miles an hour. We then descended in Lynmouth. Had a lovely cup of tea & then oh dear........Connisborough Hill. It's about a 2 mile climb & the bottom 400 yards are about 23%......... Killer

We then cycled along the coast road steadily climbing for another 600 feet, the descent down Porlock Hill is 'interesting'. A mile of fast switchbacks....... don't think I've gripped the saddle so tightly!!

The last 10 miles back to Dunster were fairly uneventful, except for the nasty head wind for the last mile.

On reflection, the new bike, weight loss & improved fitness meant that we were nearly 2 miles an quicker round the whole route. We averaged 10.7 mph, which is a reflection on how hilly it is. My maximum pulse reached 100% again. So looking forward to tomorrow & some fast flat days!!

Our palmar├Ęs!!

There seems to be no downhill!!!

26 April 2010

Day 1 of Boot Camp

Dear all,

Now the weather has turned, Sandra & I have driven down to Neal's for a 3 day boot camp up & over Exmoor. We had a good but hilly ride today, covering the same circuit that we had previously done back in November. It hasn't got any easier, but I am pleased to say we were 15 minutes quicker over the 50 mile route. I know that that's not a fantastic difference, but as Tesco say 'Every little helps!'

The Route, oh how I just love those hills

My heart rate topped out at 190bpm, which is at least 10bpm too much!

The ride got off to an amusing start(for Sandra & I). Neal didn't even clear the drive before he fell off. He had what is referred to in cycling circles as a clip-less moment & was left lying in the road like a turtle that had been placed upside down on it's shell. We didn't mention it (much) & Neal excelled himself again going up a hill when he fell off. He did remain upright for the rest of the ride though.

The ride it self was challenging, the hills of Exmoor are brutal & as you pound up them your legs are full of lactic acid & the pain is almost unbearable. The worst climb by far was almost a mile long to Rayliegh's Cross. My satnav records the % of the climb & it varied between 12 & 23%. It took me over 20 minutes to cycle it!!

18 April 2010

I love my new bike!

Wow, is all I can say!! Sandra, Gav & I went out over one of our familiar training rides today & we shaved a full 2 minutes off our best time!! Woohoo, gotta love the good weather & company.

I have a sneaky suspicion that Gav is fuelled by corned beef & pickle sandwiches & I was in France yesterday & perhaps "les escargots" are the way forward???

My secret weapon??

The food of champions, corned beef & pickle sarnies!!

It was a great ride today, the weather was fantastic & the company of Gav & Sandra is always welcomed. I've only got 2 months to go now & so need to up the anti in my training. Monday week Sandra is joining me to Neals for some serious hills. We are spending 3 days in Devon & will cycle around 240 hilly miles.....2010 the year of pain!!

The new bike is going like a dream & I am contemplating what to call her, she deserves a name & I am open to suggestions!!

Our palmar├Ęs!!

14 April 2010

Spring at last!

Well about time is all I can say! The winter, rain & everything the almighty could throw at me to keep me off the bike has finally now gone. I've been cycling to work again & it feels so good being in the saddle again.

The sportive rides will soon be starting soon & I'm looking forward to cycling all over the home counties for fun with my mates. Love the endorphins when they kick in, a real natural high.

This Sunday doing the usual training ride with Sandra, Gav & may be joined by some new people...... watch this space.

Last week in May I'm off & cycling for 8 consecutive days. Plan to spend at least 6 hours a day in the saddle. Off to Exmoor for the first 3 days, then home & then off to the Isle of Wight for another 3 days cycling..... how long will it take to circumnavigate the IoW..... it's about 65 miles, so I would think about 4 hours??

Looking forward to next year, doing coast to coast & another 2 friends want to have a crack at some serious climbs in the Alps or the Pyrenees: The names being mentioned are L'Alpe d'Huez, Mont Ventoux, Le Tourmalet or Le Galibier.

To put this into some perspective, depending on which website you read the king of L'Alpe d'Huez is either the late great Marco Pantini or Lance Armstrong. Both did the 10 mile climb in around 36 mins. I will be happy to do it in less than 3 hours, which will mean me being well & truely in my red zone for the duration with my pulse around 90 - 100% of my maximum...... I must be bloody mad!!